Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi and Ted Lieu Introduce the CONFLICT Act to Require White House Officials to Disclose When They Recuse Themselves Over Conflicts of Interest
WASHINGTON, DC – Yesterday, in the wake of ongoing investigations into Jared Kushner’s potential conflicts of interest, Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Ted Lieu introduced the Congressional Oversight Needed For Likely Illicit and Corrupt Transactions (CONFLICT) Act to mandate greater transparency in recusals by White House officials and staff. Under the CONFLICT Act, officers and employees of the Executive Office of the President or White House recusing themselves from a decision or meeting due to conflicts of interest will be required to disclose the basis for their recusal to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and the House and Senate government oversight committees. Additionally, the bill requires White House staff and officials to inform the OGE and relevant committees whenever they ask their agency ethics official of a future matter that may require recusal and what the recommendation of the ethics officer was.
“The reports of Mr. Kushner’s potential violations of ethics law are only the most recent example of Trump White House officials recklessly ignoring blatant and potential conflicts of interest,” noted Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. “Our legislation will bring transparency, and through it, greater accountability by establishing a clear record of when and why officials recuse themselves, and when they fail to do so. Public service demands putting the interests of our country ahead of our own and this legislation will help make it clear to the American people when White House officials fail to live up to that standard.”
“Yet again we find ourselves having to step in to prevent White House officials from further abusing their positions to line their own pockets,” said Congressman Ted Lieu. “Our bill – the CONFLICT Act – would shine a light on the White House’s recusal process. Under the CONFLICT Act, officials would have to report to Congress whenever they sat out on a meeting due to a conflict of interest. Transparency is a weak point for this administration, so the only way to understand officials’ webs of potential conflicts is enabling them to disclose that they’re acting in the best interest of the American public. The American people deserve to know whether their public officials are serving their country or their own financial interests.”